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The owners manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking to buy a garden tractor so I can use a snow blade, and my porperty is slightly hilly, and I know about the different hydrostatic problems. I have a chance to get a 316 with a blade at a fair price but I don't need it for all the different hydro attachments it could use (let someone else that needs it have that) and I don't need a sleeve hitch. I would like one the has the foot operated hydrostatic and hydraulic deck. I hope I am not asking for to much. I am open to just about anything that has a dependable hydrostatic and not necessarily new.

Thanks again guys and enjoy all the snow about to come.

Dick
 

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What price range are looking to spend? Are you mechanically capable? The 318 is pretty bulletproof, available from under $1k to several thousand. The 54" plows are readily available in 2 way hydraulic with manual angle or 4 way hydraulic power lift and angle for the 300s. I just got my 91 318 with the 4 way plow for $1800. But the 318/322/332 don't have foot controls. But they do have power steering which makes steering a one finger operation.

I just used my plow for the first time yesterday and it took a few minutes to get comfortable with it as your hands are kind of busy. Once you get into the rhythm of it, its not bad at all. I'm still new here, but I'm sure some of the other, more experienced members will chime in, too.
 

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If you wat a foot operated hydro, I would look into the 425/445/455. They are all great workhorses and will last for a long time and suit your seeds. Maybe if you didn't want to spend so much money on a tractor look into the 345 garden tractor. They are a step down form the 400 series but have the same creature comforts. Hope this helps.
 

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If foot operated hydro are a must then you have to start looking at 400 series and up
If the 400 series to too much $$$, maybe a 345, 335, 325 series tractor might do but again, it all depends on what your budget is.
 

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The owners manual
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am mechanical, can fix a lot of things, no problem there (I use a lot of duct tape). I do not plan on doing any ground breaking work, I just want a dependable tractor with a very dependable hydromatic unit, I don't need the power steering which could be nice but I don't want another headache.
Again my main concern is the hydromatic unit which I read so much about, some are not so good, others are kind of o.k. and then a few are bettter, so how does one decide which to use. Oh I can maintain the unit as need be at the proper time.
I would like to keep the cost under $1,000. I have been looking at Craigslist and not to much to choice from. Oh there were some that were above what I wanted like several nice 318's, and a few others. But again I don't want nor do I need all that the 318 can do. I just want to cut the grass, push a little snow and make sure it can get back up my little slope in the back yard-now is that to much to ask for.

Dick
 

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JRJ- you get what you pay for, if possible send a little extra now, then no need to update later. the 300 series(318,322,332) are bullet proof for hydrostatics.
 

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Your needs are identical to what I have. I have under an acre, no plans to till the land or have a garden. Some slope in my yard and an average suburban drive way to clear of snow. The 318 is way more capable than what I will ever need but I wont break it either. Pushing snow, pulling a plug aerator, and mowing the lawn is all its gonna do. Overkill? Maybe. But I was out dethatching my yard a week ago, with a cup of coffee in one hand and steering with the other around trees, up and down the slopes and never once did the 318 miss a beat.

It kinda sounds like you want the capability of a riding mower with the durability of a garden tractor. A garden tractor like the 318 will do anything a lawn tractor will, and it has bigger stronger parts so you wont have to worry about cooking a hydrostat. The garden tractors can do anything a lawn tractor can do and last longer doing it. Just because it is capable of running a front end loader, tiller, blower, broom and 3point hitch doesn't mean you have to use any of it. I have no intentions of doing anything more than mowing, snow plowing and pulling a dethatcher and aerator with my 318. But I don't ever have to worry about over working it and wearing it out.

Your probably better off getting more tractor than you think you need as it will most likely out last lighter duty models. Just my thoughts from a guy who had similar needs to yours.
 

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With hilly terrain, I would opt for a foot operated hydro controls where you may need to quickly adjust your speed as you go. Console operated hydro controls will work too, but requires one hand on the control and one hand steering wheel, therefore you have no hands left to drink your beer...LOL

A 325, 335 or 345 have foot operated hydo controls and for snow removal, you have a hand on the steering wheel, the other hand on the blade lift up and down and your foot for forward and reverse. My neighbor has a 318 and though it's a really tough tractor with all the hydraulic hookups, I run circles around him with my foot operated hydro when it comes to tight work with allot of backing up. But then again, may of the heavy equipment I have operated used foot controls for forward and reverse, so your hands are free for steering and all the other hydraulic controls, so that is what I'm use to. The 318 I tried just seems so backwards from I was used to. The best thing to do is get out there and test drive a few, even if they're out of your price range, to see if foot or hand controls matter to you forward and reverse.

The Hydros on these tractors are really tough, as long as the fluid and filter are changed at the proper intervals it should last the life of the tractor.

You can't go wrong with either a 300 series (317, 318 ect) or a 325, 335 or 345. But if you only want to spend $1000, you might not find one in great condition and low hours, or you may luck out get one in great shape. Might want to step up to $1500+ to get a better condition lower hour tractor.
 

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You will love the 345! It will do all that you ask and more. It is a very comfortable tractor to operate. I mow approximately 1-1/2 or so acres. I personally like the 48" mower deck but the 52" is not bad either.
 

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A 318 is bulletproof. But we had a GT225 and have a 345. The GT and 345 were the best decisions we ever made. The 345 was in terrible condition when we got it but we fixed her right up. You won't be disappointed with a 345 or GT225.
 

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[As Deerman stated above sounds like a 345 would be what you're looking for and has a lot of capability for when you do decide to try a few other attachments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I found it, haven't looked at it as yet person, but it is a GT235 with blade and chains and the hood is NOT cracked, what more can a man ask for. The best part is the asking price is $750.00. It has a K71B (I think) hydrostat. The only thing that I know of is wrong is it needs a new seat, but that is common with most tractors it seems.

Dick
 

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Wow, sounds like a great price. Hope it works out for you. If you get it, be sure to post some pictures.
 
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